Q:

What causes sharp pain in the chest?

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Quick Answer

Sharp chest pains may indicate pneumonia or lung infections, according to HealthCentral. Sharp chest pains may also indicate that a rib is out of alignment, and blood clots in the lungs could be the root cause.

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What causes sharp pain in the chest?
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Full Answer

HealthCentral notes that sharp chest pains from pneumonia or lung infections may grow worse as a person moves. This occurs when fluid fills the sacs around the heart, known as the pericardium, which causes sharp pains around the chest. MedlinePlus notes that this form of chest pain is associated with pericarditis, and the pain is located in the center of the chest. Pericarditis causes the pericardium to swell, and the disease can be contracted through viral, bacterial or fungal infections. The ailment is also associated with serious illnesses in the form of leukemia or kidney failure.

HealthCentral mentions that sharp chest discomfort is not always attributed to heart disease, and most people get them at some point in their lives. However, women who suffer from these pains may have heart blockage in certain cases. If heart blockage is to blame, the pain does not grow worse with pressure or movement. Heart blockage is not the cause if the pain gets worse when breathing, or if the discomfort lasts for a short period. Pain during movement indicates a problem with the ribs, lungs, cartilage or muscles.

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